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  1. #1

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    How to: missing LCD segments repair on Ricoh GR1

    I recently bought one of these cameras on eBay and sure enough, it had the dreaded LCD problem. Only a few of the LCD segments worked on the top panel, and worse, the shutter speeds in the viewfinder were dead too. I looked the problem up and apparently it is a common problem for segmented LCD panels on watches, calculators, etc.

    LCD panels are connected to the main circuit boards in these devices with a plastic ribbon cable which has conductive rubber strips embedded in it. The ribbon cable is glued down to the circuit board using a special film which is conductive through its thickness but not conductive in the other directions. Unfortunately this stuff tends to degrade over time which gives the classic GR1 problem.

    However, if you're handy you can remove this film and either tape the cable in place and install something to push it down onto the circuit board contacts, or you can buy new adhesive film (3M Anisotropic Conductive Film 9703, available on eBay for repairing iPods and such) and replace it. I'll briefly explain below.

    First you need access to the ribbon cable. Remove the rubber grip wrapped on the front and right side of the camera, which is just stuck down with a glue of sorts. This gives you access to two screws which hold the top cover on. Remove these. Also remove the viewfinder/power switch bezel, held on with one screw which is easily visible. Finally, there is one hidden screw which is inside the film compartment at the extreme left of the camera, beside the takeup spool. Once you remove this, you can take the top cover off. There is nothing you need to worry about here except you can easily lose the rubber part of the rewind button at the top left corner of the camera.

    Once you have the top off, the rest is relatively easy. Take off the black plastic holder for the LCD. The hard circuit board on the left side which has the button contacts for the exposure compensation, timer, and mode buttons needs to come off; it's held down by a single screw. Now you can move the LCD out of the way, and bend out of the way (gently!) the flexible circuit board which obstructs the LCD ribbon attachment. Using a warm soldering iron or similar, you can warm up the attachment and gently remove it from the circuit board underneath. There are a series of gold pins which the ribbon is stuck to - you can clean these with acetone after removing the ribbon, and you can get the adhesive off the ribbon with acetone as well. Be VERY GENTLE removing the adhesive as the rubber conductive strips are also somewhat sensitive to acetone and will dissolve if you're not careful.

    Once that's done, tape the edges of the ribbon cable in place so the contacts line up again. I used some thin foam tape to ensure constant downwards pressure to make sure the pins made contact. If you bought the 3M adhesive, cut a little strip and you'll need to heat it to around 100C while holding the ribbon in place to get it to set. This is a more reliable way of getting the contact to stay permanently - mine is missing 1.5 segments after I did the mod.

    Reassemble and you're good to go!

    Sorry for the lack of pics - I don't own a digital camera

  2. #2

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    thank's very much

    Giuseppe

  3. #3

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    Thank you for the information it really helped to solve the LCD problem.
    I solved it using just some pressure to ribbon cable connection points.

    I made all the main photos to help other guys how to open the camera.
    Just one notice - Dont lose the small rubber dome button which is responsible for Rewind.

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  4. #4

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    ...i have some problems to identify which is the ribbon to replace...i'm in front of the disassembled camera: i look under the LCD and..? the ribbon is the black one under the LCD ? please, help...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails R0012978.JPG   R0012981.JPG  

  5. #5

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    It's the ribbon front and centre in your first photo. You need to follow it underneath the flexi-PCB which is visible in your second photo immediately under the LCD. The LCD ribbon goes under that and then attaches to the rigid PCB below. It's really tricky to get it off - you have to bend the flexi-PCB out of the way GENTLY.

    Glad I could help a few people - my GR1's shutter bit the dust the other day so mine is properly dead now - unless someone knows how to fix it!!!

  6. #6
    Patrick Robert James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyMac View Post
    Glad I could help a few people - my GR1's shutter bit the dust the other day so mine is properly dead now - unless someone knows how to fix it!!!
    Let me guess, it started clicking like a machine gun and didn't close?

    I would love to get mine fixed as well. I have all but given up on mine even though it was a fantastic camera when it worked. It seems they just all die.

  7. #7

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    ok... is this the impossible zone...?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Documento1.jpg  

  8. #8

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    THANK YOU
    I have a GR1 and have the same problem.
    I'll attempt to open it up and repair it with your instructions.
    I'll post pics later.

  9. #9
    dczypher's Avatar
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    big thanks to this thread.. will try to fix my GR1 someday.. i need to get some encouragement to repair it (or wreck it with my heavy hands )

  10. #10
    Fragomeni's Avatar
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    Wondering if anyone else who's done this can provide some more supplemental information and pictures. As good as the original description of the process is, pictures go a very long way in describing something like this.

    In the case of my Gr1v, the top lcd is fine but its the framelines and information in the viewfinder that is missing. I've taken the camera apart per the instructions and while I'm still not entirely sure how to get to the conductive tape area being described, I'm able to wiggle and apply pressure to the part of the ribbon that seems to control whats in the viewfinder and some of the symbols inside light up (flickering) when I do this. I've been able to bring back the primary frameline but I've been unable to bring back the rest. I'm hoping that someone can provide clear photographs of how to complete the process. Any help would be appreciated.

    Edit/Update: I started applying head via a blow dryer and applying pressure and pulling on the ribbon (completely guessing where) and then when I noticed the main frameline had returned I reassembled the camera. All of the information is now visible in the viewfinder except the camera still doesn't seem to light of the shutter speeds. The symbols for focus distances, main framelines as well as both sets of close up framelines now appear. The P for program also appears and 500 and 30 will flash when out of exposure range. I wish the camera would tell me what shutter speed is being used but in the end I'm happy to have about 90% led functionality back which is way better than what I started with. Hopefully it maintains this for a while.
    Last edited by Fragomeni; 02-23-2014 at 01:41 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Francesco Fragomeni
    www.FrancescoFragomeni.com

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